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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (2012)

Rachel Joyce’s first novel –  about a retired Englishman setting off to visit a dying colleague, Queenie Hennessy – sounds excessively sentimental, but it is an inspiring kind of book.  Harold’s need to reconnect with Queenie sends him on a wandertour up England, but his journey becomes one of self-discovery.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a novel told with humor and charm leading to a powerful climax. I found it to contain insight into the thoughts and feelings we all carry (sometimes buried) within our hearts.

The story is so compelling it becomes a comic and tragic joy and I love it when I find a book that is this funny, wise and charming!
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Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis (1985)

By the author of True Grit, Masters of Atlantis is one of the funniest books I have read in years. The first few chapters are not very funny, but they lay the background for a lot of laugh-out-loud moments later on in the book. Read more books by Charles Portis.
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You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs

You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs (2009)
The holidays have you frazzled and frustrated? Then you can’t miss this Christmas memoir. Burroughs’ witty writing style will have you laughing all the way to 2012!

Looking for more books that will make you laugh out loud here is our list of humorous stories.

The Downhill Lie by Carl Hiaasen

The Downhill Lie by Carl Hiaasen (2008)
This very funny tale is perfect for golfers or spouses of golfers over 40!

A popular satirical fiction writer, Hiassen brings his offbeat sense of humor to real life anecdotes about golf and life. Visit the author's website and improve your golf game!

The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine

The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine (2010)
Schine puts a clever spin on the Jane Austen novel Sense and Sensibility. Instead of two young women and their mother being thrown out of their home by their brother and his greedy wife when their father dies, the sisters are middle aged and their mother loses her home when her husband of nearly fifty years decides to divorce her and marry his greedy work assistant. For those familiar with the original the popping up of each character who parallels a character in the original is a treat. But just because you have read the original, don't think you know how this one turns out.

Visit the author's blog to learn more about her and her novels and read the New York Times review.

How Not to Act Old by Pamela Redmond Satran

How Not to Act Old: 185 Ways to Pass for Phat, Sick, Hot, Dope, Awesome, or at Least Not Totally Lame by Pamela Redmond Satran (2009)Glamour magazine columnist Satran aims to drag baby boomers into the 21st century with both humor and infinitely practical guidance. Did you realize that counting out exact change and telling otherwise competent adults to wear a sweater or hurry up makes you look just plain old? Filled with witty and practical info about how not to become the subject of ridicule by younger generations, the advice from this fast read may just change your life and boost your mood with its laugh-out-loud observations.

Read an excerpt and visit the website for more advice on how to not act old.

The Green by Troon McAllister

The Green by Troon McAllister (1999)
Calling all golfers who will enjoy reading about the Ryder Cup! The author has written a humorous novel. Readers will recognize some of the PGA personalities in the book by traits that real PGA golfers on the tour possess. The novel includes golf tips as well as inside information about professional golf versus amateur golf.

This book could be made into a movie, but the people who should play the characters are deceased. In a movie of The Green, Jackie Gleason should play Eddie and Paul Newman could be Alan! The hustle of golf in this book can be compared to the game of pool!

Learn more about author and his books. Like golf? Check out our list of Fairway Fiction for more books on the topic.

African Diary by Bill Bryson

African Diary by Bill Bryson (2002)
A small book to get a quick insight into Africa. Bryson writes with his usual humor about traveling through Africa and what his preconception of Africa was before his trip.

Bill Bryson's story about Africa contains wonderful pictures and explanations of the continent. The profits of the book go to CARE to benefit African people.

Check out the official Bill Bryson website and read reviews on Amazon.com.

The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell

The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell (2008)
The pig did it and he REALLY did! The fat porker caused the characters to get into turmoil and...LOVE! Set in Ireland's West coast, this novel will bring a smile to your face.

Read reviews at Amazon.com and EW.com.

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore (2004)
This is not a heart-warming story, nor is there any peace, miracles, or goodwill towards men. For those who are sick of sugary sweet Christmas stories, this nitty-gritty tale is a much needed counterpoint. There is an angel, and yes he does a stupid thing by losing his wings. But he is too busy trying to prevent this world from coming to an end. Quirky characters are a delight. Also try Moore’s other humorous novel Practical Demonkeeping.

Preview the book, read a review at Bookreporter.com, and visit the author's website.

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I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson

I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson (1999)
This collection of topics, with Bill Bryson's usual humorous outlook, is very enjoyable. It’s a great book to pick up and put down because each chapter is a short story about a separate subject. Bryson was urged to write articles about returning to America after living in England for 20 years. This book is a collection of the articles he wrote about how things had changed in America while he was gone.

Visit the author's website and read reviews at Amazon.com.

Are you there, Vodka? by Chelsea Handler

Are you there, Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler (2008)
Comedian and talk show host Chelsea Handler tells funny stories about her life. Topics include getting pulled over one week after her 21st birthday, taking a trip to Costa Rica with her father, and her love for vodka. A quick, enjoyable read.


Check out the author's fansite and read an excerpt from the book.

Foul Matter by Martha Grimes

Foul Matter by Martha Grimes (2003)
Foul matter is the name given by editors to an unedited manuscript. In this tongue-in-cheek caper, a best selling author agrees to change publishers if said publisher will drop their best, most literary writer. The publisher’s solution? To hire two hit men to knock off their talented but slender-selling writer.

Visit Book Reporter to read an excerpt and an interview. Check out the San Francisco Chronicle author interview.

America (The Book) by Jon Stewart

America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart (2004)
Jon Stewart, of The Daily Show fame, has written a very funny book that might also teach you something about the way our government works. However, some readers may be offended by some of the crude language used throughout the book.

You can read an excerptlisten to segments on NPR, or go to Amazon.com to read an interview and watch a video message.

The Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz

The Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz (2004)
What an appropriate title! Chaos, disarray, confusion - this book has all that and more. Billed as "an adventure with 16 sheep, 3 dogs, 2 donkeys," I couldn't resist. The Dogs of Bedlam Farm is the story of the author's physical and emotional journey as he relocates from his "urban" life in New Jersey to a sheep farm in upstate New York. The adventures he encounters as he trains his 3 border collies, survives a brutal winter alone on the farm, and comes to terms with who he is as a person are both amusing and heartwarming.